An Honest “No” Is Better Than A Dishonest “Yes”

I was explaining something I want to try yesterday, a Big Idea, and at one point in the conversation the person to whom I was explaining this Big Idea offered a suggestion for getting it done and I replied, “I don’t just want to get it done. I want to find out first if it will be helpful.”

I’ve kicked that sentiment around for several hours since then, and I’m not arriving at any surefire way to determine if the things we plan will, in fact, be helpful before we have to just launch them. Certainly if someone says, “Don’t do that. It will complicate my life and create more work and accomplish nothing” then we don’t do it. But people don’t really say that, do they? They say, “Yeah, sure. Sounds good,” and then abstain from participating when the flaws they saw in the Big Idea come to light.

Maybe we have to be completely direct. “I’m thinking of moving confirmation from the 11:00 hour on Sundays to the 10:00 hour so that I can lead one of the 11:00 youth groups. Does this add value to your church participation? Does it help you?”

Or, “I’m interested in bringing a group of teenagers to your corner of the world for a mission trip. Would that be helpful to you?”

An honest “No” is so much more valuable than a tepid “Yes.”

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